The week ahead marks the peak of second-quarter earnings season with more than one-third of the companies listed in the benchmark S&P 500 index reporting. Data releases include a preliminary estimate for U.S. GDP and a handful of housing reports.

Congress is also expected to work over the weekend -- or least part of it -- on a deal to reduce trillions in U.S. debt over the next decade. An Aug. 2 deadline for an agreement is looming.

Also on tap next week is a full slate of initial public offerings expected to hit the U.S next week despite uncertainty in the broader market, with the calendar filing up to levels that haven't been seen since 2007. A total of 10 IPOs, including those of Dunkin' Brands Group Inc., American Midstream Partners LP and Wesco Aircraft Holdings Inc., are scheduled to trade.

Earnings reports so far for the second quarter have followed a pattern set earlier in the year. The numbers have surpassed expectations for the most part, with some glaring exceptions.

Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar (CAT) was such an exception on Friday, single-handedly putting a drag on stock markets after failing to live up to Wall Streets forecasts.

But nearly every other bellwether company  Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), General Electric (GE), McDonalds (MCD), and Microsoft (MSFT) for instance  that has reported so far this quarter has beaten expectations.

The problem for the rest of the economy is that these solid corporate earnings havent translated into growth and hiring.

The pattern is expected to continue in the week ahead.

Some of the more prominent companies reporting next week include: Kimberly Clark (KMB), Lorillard (LO), Broadcom (BRCM), Netflix (NFLX), Texas Instruments (TXN) due Monday.

Ford (F), United Parcel Services (UPS), 3M (MMM), United States Steel (X), Valero Energy (VLO), T. Rowe Price (TROW), Occidental Petroleum (OXY), Hershey (HSY), Lockheed Martin (LMT), Amazon.com (AMZN) due Tuesday.

Boeing (BA), Wyndham Worldwide (WYN), Symantec (SYMC), Northrop Grumman (NOC), Hess (HES), General Dynamics (GD), Visa (V), Aetna (AET), Nasdaq OMX Group (NDAQ), Conoco Phillips (COP), Dow Chemical (DOW) due Wednesday.

ExxonMobil (XOM), Colgate-Palmolive (CL), Celgene (CELG), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), Cablevision (CVC) Time Warner Cable (TWC), Raytheon (RTN), Waste Management (WM), Coca Cola Enterprises (CCE), Boston Scientific (BMX), MetLife (MET) and Starbucks (SBUX) due Thursday.

Chevron (CVX), Merck (MRK) and ITT (ITT) on Friday.

The preliminary estimate for second quarter U.S. GDP is due Friday and no surprises are expected. Growth is very, very slow.

On the housing front, sales of new single-family homes in June are due Tuesday. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index for May is also due Tuesday. The National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index for June is due Thursday.

Housing has been mired in a brutal slump as a glut of inventory sits waiting for buyers, many of them afraid for their jobs.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index Is due Tuesday, and the Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index is due Friday.

Follow Dunstan Prial on Twitter @DunstanPrial